Technique an attribute?

Just read John Frankl post regarding the importance of technique. As a mere mudnamer I didn't have the priviledge to respond on his thread...

I just wanted to say that I consider technique another attribute, and that I think that the person who can use their mix of attributes to the greatest advantage comes out the winner.

Maybe it's just semantics(?), but I wanted to add my 2 cents worth. :)


I agree wholeheartedly with John's post.

The first time I had to re-think the context of technique is when I first saw the Royce/Ken Shamrock fight.

Royce, IMHO, didn't have the type of athletic attributes of Ken Shamrock: Royce lacked the size, strength, explosiveness, and perhaps even the hardcore conditioning that Ken had.

but, as we all know, Ken was choked in about 2 minutes by the lithe, 170lbs. Royce.

That's when I said to myself "wait a minute, is it just me, or did this fight just blow all my beliefs out of the water?"

I also agree with John's last paragraph, that technique without attributes is just as useless as having a ridiculous amount of attributes, and no technique.

Great post. Just sucks we mudnamers can't post on it. :)

I agree as well. Technique is just another attribute, but it's the one you have the most control over.

Roll with a new white belt, and suddenly you can pull off any move you want, not due to attribute, but due to technique. A person you might fight in the street, will basically have that same skill and knowledge, and you should "win" on technique alone.

When we spar/roll with someone of the same skill, attributes become more important. Weight, flexibility, strength, stamina, speed etc....

I think Royce and his fights in the early UFC's proved that a high degree of skill in a range you can maintain is dominant regardless of attribute.

I disagree with the semantics, but I will suggest a compromise.

I think there are 3 components:

1) Mechanics (physical movements that make up a technique)

2) Attributes (qualities that improve the manner in which you execute the technique)

3) Strategy (tactics that determine how and why you execute the technique)

HOWEVER, I think that "PRECISION IN MOVEMENT" is an attribute, and when some people say "That guy has good technique" they really mean that he is precise in the application of his mechanics, which is an attribute.



Structure is a key component, the most powerful structure wins, and the most powerful attributes enhance what one can do with that structure. For example, there is a right way to deadlift. One doing a perfect deadlift will lift hundreds of more pounds than the same guy doing the deadlift without perfect technical structure. Mastery of structure and mechanics is first and foremost a component of attributes such as "Power" and "speed".

Strength is determined by a number of factors and there are many types of strength, and qualities of strength to create a powerful movement.

One of the best BJJ players I've ever trained with is
in his 40s, and though he is well conditioned, strong,
and very flexible, you will very rarely see him use
any explosive speed or strength. It's not that he
doesn't have it, it's that he doesn't rely on it. He
plays a game that ensure that his technical
performance will continue -- and be more refined and
effective -- when he's in his 50s.

Attributes become a different matter when looking at
martial arts from a competition prep. or self-defense
standpoint. Then you use what you have, and physical
attributes may in fact become an aspect of your
tactics or strategy.

In general, though, John is correct that technical
proficiency is the area we have the most control over.
And if it is an attribute, it is the one that is the
most enduring, and least transient.

You have gifts and the given and then you have passion and commitment.

How much can you do with what you got is the equation that sums up all of the above and will also define who you are within all you practice and orient yourself to.

A technique is simply an implementation of intention well placed and timed.

An attribute is a specific manifestation of the means to express such intention in place and time.

Not technique nor attribute exists solely in isolation but they are instead together the vehicle of our ability to relate to our environment. In this case we are talking MA so there you have it.

Do what you can with what you have and in that practice you will find greater and greater orientation and familiarity with what it is you do and what it is you are.


Technique does not equal skill.

Technique is a movement, or a series of movements. Skill involves the ability to read the situation, select the appropriate technique, and it's successful execution. As such a technique is taught, and skill is developed.

But skill develops quickest when attributes are eliminated from the training sessions. Attributes will compensate for imprecise technique or poor timing.


The best thing to do when caught is to just keep telling yourself that your head will grow back. :)